An homage to one of the greatest movies ever made.
Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss
Plot: When a killer shark unleashes chaos on a beach resort, it’s up to a local sheriff, a marine biologist and an old sea farer to hunt the beast down.
The History: Jaws is an iconic film that was released on June 20, 1975. Since its release it has earned $470,653,000 at the box office worldwide, adjusted for inflation that amount would be $1,156,551,700 today. This doesn’t include all of the merchandise made or the many sequels that pale in comparison to the original. It is the movie that created the summer blockbuster. This film single handedly gave millions of people an irrational fear of sharks and going into the water a death sentence with the use of two notes. Music that will become synonymous with sharks.
During the filming of Jaws Steven Spielberg kept hitting roadblocks that halted production, raised the budget, and extended the shoot from 2 months to 7 months. From a malfunctioning shark to bad weather to filming on the water, the making of this movie was anarchy. Since the star of the movie, the shark, malfunctioned frequently, Spielberg used the thought of a shark to ilicit the fear response he needed to give the shark its terror factor. This is why you don’t see the physical shark until halfway through the movie.
“Making Jaws was the toughest film making production experience I’ve ever encountered” – Steven Spielberg
All of the stars involved in this film did fantastic jobs in bring out the suspense needed to carry the film from start to finish. Roy Scheider as Chief Brody trying his best to keep the citizens of Amity safe. Richard Dreyfuss as Hooper being the plucky marine biologist that tried his damnedest to get the mayor to understand that there is a man eater in the water. Robert Shaw as the hard as nails Quint who wants to kill the shark…for a price. All of these characters coming together to take down a force of nature is like a ballet of adrenaline, fear, suspense, and survival.
“You’re gonna need a bigger boat.” – Roy Scheider as Chief Brody
What I think: This movie is near and dear to my heart so I may be a bit biased. My father and I used to watch this movie all of the time and after he passed I continued to watch it 2 to 3 times a year, every year. I have also passed the torch to my kids and we watch it together. Traditions.
As the movie begins you get a taste of the absolute terror that comes from being alone in the water. A skinny dipper, Chrissie, swims out to a buoy without a care in the world. As she is waiting for the guy she met to meet her she feels a tug on her foot. A second later, another tug, then she is violently thrown around the water. Getting thrashed left and right, she gets a hold of the buoy. Suddenly she is pulled away from the buoy and then screams her final words, “GOD PLEASE HELP!!!” The silence is deafening.
“This wasn’t a boating accident!” – Richard Dreyfuss as Mr. Hooper
The movie pulled us in from that point on and made us watch with a constant edge of fear. There was some levity provided by our characters but the fear was still there, waiting just beyond the shoreline.
Having seen this movie no less than 60 times over the last 30 years I still find that the fear that I had as a kid watching this film is still there. It holds up even 45 years after its initial release. That is a defining characteristic of any movie worth watching.
As always, if you enjoy suspense or thrillers, shark-centric movies, or just want a good date movie, this is for you.
I give it ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ of 5 stars.
All research material taken from the following sources:
IMDB – https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0073195/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1
Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jaws_(film)
Box Office Mojo – https://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=jaws.htm
Jaws – The Motion Picture
The Shark is Still Working – Documentary of the Movie Jaws